Airplanes have 1, 2, 3, 4, or as many as 6 engines. How about 18! This looks like something I may have built out of Lego at age 8, or drawn up as a doodle in the margin of a notebook.
Some of the models even have pusher motors at the tailcone, and on the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer! Just like my childhood creations!
The project, called LEAPTech, for Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology, "is a key element of NASA's plan to help a significant portion of the aircraft industry transition to electrical propulsion within the next decade," according to a NASA news release. The project will test the premise that tighter propulsion-airframe integration, made possible with electric power, will deliver improved efficiency and safety, as well as environmental and economic benefits.